Adrian Quaife-Hobbs claimed the final GP3 pole position of the season at Monza, pipping Nico Muller at the very end of the session.

Quaife-Hobbs needed to gain the two bonus points for pole position to keep his mathematical chances of winning the title alive, and still needs to win both races and record both fastest laps to stand a chance of beating current points leader Valtteri Bottas.

The Briton's Manor Racing teammate Rio Haryanto topped the timesheets several times during the session, and was on top in the closing stages. Jenzer Motorsport driver Muller then moved ahead with his final attempt, before Quaife-Hobbs popped up with a time 0.062s quicker than the Swiss driver.

He suggested afterwards that pole position may not necessarily be the best place to start the race from due to the slipstreaming nature of the races at the Italian circuit.

“I don't think you can lead lights to flag at this track,” said Quaife-Hobbs. “As long as I keep in a good position at the front fighting you just have to wait for the final few laps. I think we've proved that we've got the pace as I set my fastest lap near the end and without much of a slipstream. Outside shot at the title is very outside, but third is clearly possible as it's only three points away now.”

Muller added his view: “I think we saw it last year there was a big group leading all race long and changing positions all race long so I think it will be similar this year again, and I hope to stay in the top three all race long and then fight for the win in the final few laps.”

Haryanto, who ended up third, said: “I hope to have a good race. I need a good start and then we will see. I think there will a lot of battles on track between the few front rows. As you've seen, once you get a tow you gain massively on the driver on front of you. I'm just hoping to be on the podium, but obviously a win would be even better.”

Mitch Evans was fourth, while the two title rivals and ART duo Valtteri Bottas and James Calado will share the third row of the grid. Practice pacesetter Simon Trummer was seventh, with Michael Christensen, Tamas Pal Kiss and Tom Dillmann completing the top ten.

Title outsiders Nigel Melker and Alexander Sims have work to do from 13th and 11th on the grid respectively.

Qualifying times:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Marussia Manor Racing 1:43.788 15
2 Nico Muller Jenzer Motorsport 1:43.850 0.062 15
3 Rio Haryanto Marussia Manor Racing 1:43.943 0.155 15
4 Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:44.030 0.242 15
5 Valtteri Bottas Lotus ART 1:44.058 0.270 15
6 James Calado Lotus ART 1:44.093 0.305 15
7 Simon Trummer MW Arden 1:44.215 0.427 14
8 Michael Christensen RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:44.241 0.453 14
9 Tamas Pal Kiss Tech 1 Racing 1:44.256 0.468 14
10 Tom Dillmann Addax Team 1:44.263 0.475 14
11 Alexander Sims Status Grand Prix 1:44.288 0.500 14
12 Ivan Lukashevich Status Grand Prix 1:44.465 0.677 15
13 Nigel Melker RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:44.471 0.683 14
14 Antonio Felix da Costa Status Grand Prix 1:44.475 0.687 14
15 Gabby Chaves Addax Team 1:44.560 0.772 15
16 Aaro Vainio Tech 1 Racing 1:44.584 0.796 13
17 Conor Daly Carlin 1:44.715 0.927 14
18 Zoel Amberg Atech CSR GP 1:44.765 0.977 14
19 Lewis Williamson MW Arden 1:44.800 1.012 13
20 Matias Laine Marussia Manor Racing 1:44.858 1.070 14
21 Vittorio Ghirelli Addax Team 1:44.867 1.079 14
22 Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 1:44.981 1.193 13
23 Richie Stanaway Lotus ART 1:45.004 1.216 13
24 Callum MacLeod Carlin 1:45.076 1.288 15
25 Marlon Stockinger Atech CRS GP 1:45.293 1.505 13
26 Daniel Mancinelli RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:45.330 1.542 13
27 Thomas Hylkema Tech 1 Racing 1:45.363 1.575 13
28 Nick Yelloly Atech CRS GP 1:45.760 1.972 13
29 Leonardo Cordeiro Carlin 1:45.841 2.053 13
30 Christophe Hurni Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.355 2.567 14